A phenylethynyl composition which can be used to endcap nucleophilic species is employed in the production of phenylethynyl terminated reactive oligomers exclusively. These phenylethynyl terminated reactive oligomers display unique thermal characteristics, as exemplified by the model compound, 4-phenoxy 4'-phenylethynylbenzophenone, which is relatively stable at 200 C, but reacts at 350 C. In addition, a reactive diluent was prepared which decreases the melt viscosity of the phenylethynyl terminated oligomers and subsequently reacts therewith to increase density of the resulting thermoset. The novelty of this invention resides in the phenylethynyl composition used to terminate a nucleophilic reagent, resulting in the exclusive production of phenylethynyl terminated reactive oligomers which display unique thermal characteristics. A reactive diluent was also employed to decrease the melt viscosity of a phenylethynyl terminated reactive oligomer and to subsequently react therewith to increase the crosslink density of the resulting thermoset. These materials have features which make them attractive candidates for use as composite matrices and adhesives.